1945 Apr 12, Richard Strauss completed his “Metamorphosis.”
1985 Apr 12, Sen. Jake Garn of Utah became the first senator to fly in space as the shuttle Discovery lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
1991 Apr 12, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney announced plans to close 31 major US military bases, including Ford Ord in California and Fort Dix in New Jersey.
1996 Apr 12, President Clinton named U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor to succeed the late Ron Brown as commerce secretary.
1997 Apr 12, George Wald (80), US scientist (Nobel Prize, vitamin A in retina), died.
2000 Apr 12, Attorney General Janet Reno met in Miami with the US relatives of Elian Gonzalez, after which she ordered them to bring the six-year-old boy to an airport the next day so he could be taken to a reunion with his father in Washington. Elian was seized by federal agents ten days after Reno’s order to turn him over.
2000 Apr 12, China’s Pres. Jiang Zemin arrived in Israel to support commercial defense relations between the two countries.
2001 Apr 12, In Cincinnati Mayor Charles Luken declared a state of emergency and imposed a citywide curfew and other measures to prevent a 4th night of riots following the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by police. This was the worst outbreak of racial violence in the city since the aftermath of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.
2001 Apr 12, In Indonesia Pres. Wahid abandoned attempts to negotiate with separatist rebels in Aceh and ordered his troops to resume fighting.
2002 Apr 12, Colin Powell arrived in Israel as another suicide bombing killed 6 people in Jerusalem at the Mahane Yehuda market. Powell failed to PM Sharon to set a timetable for withdrawal from West Bank cities. Powell postponed a meeting with Arafat and demanded that Arafat condemn the latest attack. Estimates of Palestinian dead from Israeli operations in Jenin reached 100-200. An elderly Palestinian couple were rescued after being buried for 7 days by an Israeli bulldozer in Jenin.
2005 Apr 12, President Bush visited soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, marking the two-year anniversary of the end of Saddam Hussein’s regime
2006 Apr 12, The Rev. William Sloane Coffin (81), a former Yale chaplain known for Vietnam-era peace activism, died in Strafford, Vt.
2006 Apr 12, Joe Van Holsbeeck (17) was stabbed to death at the Brussels Central train station in a robbery by 2 men for his MP3 player. On August 2 a Polish teen, suspected in the murder, was extradited to Belgium and taken into police custody.
2007 Apr 12, Pakistan’s President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said that tribesmen have killed about 300 foreign militants during a weekslong offensive near the Afghan border and acknowledged for first time that they received military support. Gunfights erupted again in villages near the Afghan border where clashes between Sunni and Shiite Muslims have killed at least 49 people over the past week.
2008 Apr 12, Chinese President Hu Jintao defended the crackdown on protests in Tibet and denied the disturbances were linked to human rights in his first public comments on the incident.
2008 Apr 12, Haiti’s President Rene Preval announced a drop in the price of rice in a bid to defuse anger of rising food prices that fueled days of deadly protests and looting. Haitian lawmakers dismissed PM Jacques Edouard Alexi, hoping to defuse widespread anger over rising food prices.
2008 Apr 12, Taiwan’s vice president-elect said he and Chinese President Hu Jintao held “candid and harmonious” talks in the highest-level contact ever between the sides, and they had brought results.
2009 Apr 12, Sir John Maddox (b.1925), former editor of the British journal Nature, died.
2009 Apr 12, Israel’s new PM Netanyahu spoke to the Palestinian Pres. Abbas on Easter for the first time since taking office, telling him that he seeks close cooperation to drive peace efforts forward.
2009 Apr 12, In Puerto Rico Army Spc. Nokware Rosado Munoz (28) had been arguing with his pregnant wife about his upcoming redeployment to Iraq before hanging himself.
2009 Apr 12, Sri Lanka’s president ordered government troops to halt their offensive against cornered Tamil rebels for two days to give tens of thousands of civilians a chance to escape the fighting.
2010 Apr 12, President Barack Obama and presidents, prime ministers and other top officials from 47 countries started work on a battle plan to keep nuclear weapons out of terrorist hands. Egypt called for world powers to press both Iran and Israel on nuclear weapons, saying that the Middle East should be a zone free of the ultra-destructive arms. China said sanctions were not the answer to the Iranian atomic standoff. Iran’s envoy to the UN nuclear watchdog spurned the US nuclear summit, saying any decision taken at the conference is not binding on nations absent from the event.
2010 Apr 12, In Brazil rancher Vitalmiro Moura, accused of ordering the 2005 murder of US nun and Amazon defender Dorothy Stang, was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years in prison. Moura was previously convicted of Stang’s murder and then acquitted in an automatic retrial. That decision was overturned last year on a technicality.
2010 Apr 12, Canadian PM Stephen Harper said Canada will return spent nuclear fuel to its supplier, the United States, as part of a global drive to secure fissile materials.
2010 Apr 12, An Egyptian activist said Mohammed ElBaradei, emerging opposition leader and former head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency, has called for a boycott of the upcoming elections. ElBaradei has turned his focus to promoting electoral reforms and constitutional amendments that would allow a credible rival candidate to run in next year’s presidential election.
2011 Apr 12, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation requiring the state’s utilities to get 33% of its electricity from renewable sources by the end of 2020.
2012 Apr 12, In Iraq Hamed Yussef Hamadi (72), the culture minister under Saddam Hussein, was released after over six years in prison and left the country. Hamadi was arrested on January 24, 2006.
2013 Apr 12, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir traveled to South Sudan for the first time since the south peacefully broke away from Sudan in 2011. The two presidents agreed to the free movement of people and goods across the border.